Online U.S. passport renewal is rolling out at the State Department: How it works

June 13, 2024
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The U.S. State Department has launched an updated online passport renewal service, making it possible for travelers to forego mailing documents and upload them digitally instead.

Right now, the rollout is restricted to certain windows at mid-day Eastern time — starting at 1 p.m., according to the Wall Street Journal.

Once a daily limit of applications is reached, the system will close. The department advises travelers to try again on another day if they get a message saying they can’t start their applications.

Travelers should watch a video on how to select and upload their passport photo.

The limited-service run is expected to last for several months.

Processing times are the normal six to eight weeks. And right now, the online system is not available to applicants who need expedited service or urgent-travel options.

This is not the first time online renewal has been available but the department said it has been updated with improvements.

Following pandemic reopenings, passport processing times slowed dramatically amid a surge in travel and reduced staffing but the department says it has recovered to normal service.

The rollout is part of President Joe Biden’s 2023 budget, which directed $163 million toward revamping the delivery of passport services so the public can access core services online. The budget also earmarked funds for customer-facing upgrades to TSA and the Social Security Administration.

The announcement by the State Department follows on the IRS’s decision to permanently establish its free Direct File system for submitting simplified tax returns, itself a part of a $642 million effort by the Biden administration to improve customer service for taxpayers.



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